Re: Whaddaya know?

Subject: Re: Whaddaya know?
From: Laura -dot- Praderio -at- Level3 -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 10:38:47 -0600

Well...I was amused by the interview responses. Everyone had good comments
about how to interview and suggestions for education.

I've had the opportunity to interview many tech writers in the hiring
process (junior to senior) and am continually amazed at the answers I get:

--I have a really hard time focusing
--I'm sorry I put on so much weight in the last year
--can I burn incense and candles (I would have liked that but fire code...)
--i can't seem to finish tasks
--crying (I felt badly about that one. She was an extremely skilled writer
who had been in the mom business for a good 10 years and was soooooo nervous
and not confident about her skills returning to the work force. We hired her
and she's still dynamite at that company)
--I prefer to be micro managed (I'm not kidding. I explained I don't micro
manage and he got upset with me.)
--no eye contact for the entire inteview (I queried, no physical
--yes I lied about my skills on my resume but I can do the work
--I didn't exactly get a master's degree in technical writing like my resume
--would you be nearby as I prefer not to be alone (in an office with about
500 people)
--so when you write manuals, do you also write documentation

Well those are the beauties I remember offhand. Even for all these oddities
I've had the delight of meeting many wonderful communicators!

Back to the education bent...I agree that the education system should
generate more practical skills such as putting those grammar skills into
practice and not just living the concept, being able to explain editoral
changes in a pleasant tone and manner, not hacking the hell out of the
author's content because you fell out of bed that morning and didn't land
well, not shortening sentences so that articles are an historical element in
writing, not making verbs out of commands because it's easier and someone
else already did it, not using ROYGBIV for your color scheme in one
document, not employing many city-named fonts in one document because you've
been there, not following every grammar rule so precisely that the sentence
that was an ice cream sundae now resembles a stale wafer, and
lastly...enjoying your work and not just doing it for the cash flow.

Good luck with the interviews. Enjoy the responses!
lpraderio -at- aol -dot- com


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